Botox is a drug made from a neurotoxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum called botulinum toxin. "It's a poison secreted by the bacteria," plastic surgeon Norman Rowe, M.D., tells SELF. Botulinum toxin has proven to be a successful and valuable therapeutic protein when dosage, frequency of treatment and variety of treated clinical conditions are considered, according to Howard Sobel, M.D., a dermatologist in New York. Basically: when it's done right. When it's done wrong—like, really, really wrong—it can cause "botulism-like symptoms," according to Mayo Clinic, which may include muscle weakness, trouble breathing, speaking or swallowing, bladder control issues, and vision problems. That is "very unlikely," but a more than convincing enough reason not to go bargain hunting for Botox.
In overactive bladder patients with analyzed specimens from the two phase 3 studies and the open-label extension study, neutralizing antibodies developed in 0 of 954 patients (0.0%) while receiving BOTOX 100 Unit doses and 3 of 260 patients (1.2%) after subsequently receiving at least one 150 Unit dose. Response to subsequent BOTOX treatment was not different following seroconversion in these three patients.
Each vial of BOTOX contains either 50 Units of Clostridium botulinum type A neurotoxin complex, 0.25 mg of Albumin Human, and 0.45 mg of sodium chloride; 100 Units of Clostridium botulinum type A neurotoxin complex, 0.5 mg of Albumin Human, and 0.9 mg of sodium chloride; or 200 Units of Clostridium botulinum type A neurotoxin complex, 1 mg of Albumin Human, and 1.8 mg of sodium chloride in a sterile, vacuum-dried form without a preservative.
Unlike some resurfacing or surgical procedures, after which there is possible pigmentation or scarring, when Botox is done correctly, it can be done on all skin tones. “This is a procedure [and] product that crosses all divides,” says Dr. Matarasso. “Men, women, Caucasian, African-American, Asian, Indian. I don’t think there is a demographic that has not enjoyed the benefit of this product.”
How Was the Botox Mixed? A factor that many patients are unaware of is that Botox and Dysport come in a powder form that must be mixed with sterile saline to reconstitute the vial. The amount of water that is mixed with the Botox or Dysport can vary and will determine the concentration of the medicine. Some doctors and nurses dilute the powder too much so that the final concentration of Botox or Dysport is weak. So if you go to a provider who advertises a cheap price (for instance below the wholesale price) the injections you may be getting may be very dilute and may not be as effective as a more concentrated (more expensive) injection.

A placebo-controlled, double-blind post-approval 52 week study with BOTOX 100 Units (Study NDO-3) was conducted in non-catheterizing MS patients with urinary incontinence due to detrusor overactivity associated with a neurologic condition. Catheterization for urinary retention was initiated in 15.2% (10/66) of patients following treatment with BOTOX 100 Units versus 2.6% (2/78) on placebo at any time during the complete treatment cycle. The median duration of post-injection catheterization for those who developed urinary retention was 64 days for BOTOX 100 Units and 2 days for placebo.

Formation of neutralizing antibodies to botulinum toxin type A may reduce the effectiveness of BOTOX treatment by inactivating the biological activity of the toxin. The critical factors for neutralizing antibody formation have not been well characterized. The results from some studies suggest that BOTOX injections at more frequent intervals or at higher doses may lead to greater incidence of antibody formation. The potential for antibody formation may be minimized by injecting with the lowest effective dose given at the longest feasible intervals between injections.

* LS mean change, treatment difference and p-value are based on an analysis using an ANCOVA model with baseline weekly endpoint as covariate and treatment group, etiology at study entry (spinal cord injury or multiple sclerosis), concurrent anticholinergic therapy at screening, and investigator as factors. LOCF values were used to analyze the primary efficacy variable.

Shah says that it’s harder to treat wrinkles with just Botox as they get more and more ingrained into the face. “Some people may need just a few injections, but some may require more treatments, such as laser treatments or a series of smaller procedures, which are going to cost more. Whereas if they came in five years earlier, I may have just been able to use Botox to get the same effect,” she says.


Botulinum toxin is used to treat a number of disorders characterized by overactive muscle movement, including post-stroke spasticity, post-spinal cord injury spasticity, spasms of the head and neck,[8] eyelid,[9] vagina,[10] limbs, jaw, and vocal cords.[11] Similarly, botulinum toxin is used to relax clenching of muscles, including those of the oesophagus,[12] jaw,[13] lower urinary tract and bladder,[14] or clenching of the anus which can exacerbate anal fissure.[15] It may also be used for improper eye alignment.[16] Botulinum toxin appears to be effective for refractory overactive bladder.[17]

According to the PREEMPT paradigm, one injection of 5 units of onabotulinumtoxinA into four sites (total 20 units) into the frontalis muscle is done. The injection points are located by visually drawing a line up from the medial edge of the supraorbital rim. Patients will be injected into the muscle in the upper third of the forehead at least 1 to 2 fingerbreadths above the corrugator injection site. The lateral muscle injection areas are parallel and approximately 1 fingerbreadth lateral to the medial injection site, which is roughly in line with either the midpupillary line or the lateral edge of the cornea, which is the limbus line. In cases in which I am worried about ptosis, I inject the frontalis close to the hairline. In order to reduce the risk of these unwanted effects, injections should be administered in the upper third of the forehead only. The needle should be inserted at a 45° angle superiorly. Because the frontalis is an elevator muscle, weakening can cause brow ptosis or exacerbate preexisting brow ptosis.
Do not inject into blood vessels. Introduction of these products into the vasculature may lead to embolization, occlusion of the vessels, ischemia, or infarction. Take extra care when injecting soft-tissue fillers; for example, inject the product slowly and apply the least amount of pressure necessary. Rare, but serious, adverse events associated with the intravascular injection of soft-tissue fillers in the face have been reported and include temporary or permanent vision impairment, blindness, cerebral ischemia or cerebral hemorrhage leading to stroke, skin necrosis, and damage to underlying facial structures. Immediately stop the injection if a patient exhibits any of the following symptoms: changes in vision, signs of a stroke, blanching of the skin, unusual pain during or shortly after the procedure. Patients should receive prompt medical attention and, possibly, evaluation by an appropriate healthcare professional specialist should an intravascular injection occur
As you noted in your question, the effects of Botox don't last forever. For some patients the short term effects of Botox are a ‘good thing,’ as it means that trying Botox is a relatively low risk/low commitment procedure. If you don't like your Botox results, there's not much to worry about: They will fade on their own in a few months. Generally speaking, the results last between three to five months -- but the duration of the Botox effect depends on the individual and on how many Botox units were used.

In study 2, 320 adults with bilateral axillary primary hyperhidrosis were randomized to receive either 50 Units of BOTOX (n=2 42) or placebo (n=78). Treatment responders were defined as subjects showing at least a 50% reduction from baseline in axillary sweating measured by gravimetric measurement at 4 weeks. At week 4 post-injection, the percentages of responders were 91% (219/242) in the BOTOX group and 36% (28/78) in the placebo group, p<0.001. The difference in percentage of responders between BOTOX and placebo was 55% (95% CI=43.3, 65.9).
Micropigmentation, or permanent makeup, is a procedure in which iron oxide pigment is injected into the dermis. This procedure can improve the appearance of thin eyebrows and lips and may be beneficial for those with makeup allergies. Swelling is common after the procedure. The patient may be instructed to apply ice and/or ointment to the treated area.
Allergan PLC (AGN) is a large market cap ($65B) biopharmaceutical company with a pipeline of innovative and generic therapeutics for diseases affecting the eyes, bowel, lungs, skin, urogenital systems and brain. Through the acquisition of Tobira Pharmaceuticals and its assets including cenicriviroc (CVC), Allergan is one of the leaders in the clinical development of anti-NASH therapeutics (the focus of this article).
Receiving Botox injections for migraines is a straightforward outpatient procedure. The skin in the area to be injected is cleaned. Most injections are administered in the forehead area, usually above the eyes or where “worry lines” might occur. Because this area may be sensitive or patients may be experiencing hypersensitivity to pain, a topical anesthetic may be applied before the injection.
In response to the occurrence of these side effects, in 2008 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration notified the public of the potential dangers of the botulinum toxin as a therapeutic. Namely, they warned that the toxin can spread to areas distant from the site of injection and paralyze unintended muscle groups, especially when used for treating muscle spasticity in children treated for cerebral palsy.[28] In 2009, the FDA announced that boxed warnings would be added to available botulinum toxin products, warning of their ability to spread from the injection site.[29] Additionally, the FDA announced name changes to several botulinum toxin products, meant to emphasize that the products are not interchangeable and require different doses for proper use. Botox and Botox Cosmetic were renamed onabotulinumtoxinA, Myobloc was renamed rimabotulinumtoxinB, and Dysport name renamed abobotulinumtoxinA.[29] In conjunction with this, the FDA issued a communication to health care professionals reiterating the new drug names and the approved uses for each.[30] A similar warning was issued by Health Canada in 2009, warning that botulinum toxin products can spread to other parts of the body.[31]

At the recent American Headache Society meeting in Washington DC, Allergan invested heavily in educating the board-certified headache physicians on the most effective injection sites and methods for Chronic Migraine patients. Find one here. Were I to repeat Botox for Migraine, I would absolutely find one of those Allergan-trained doctors and ask them exactly how many Botox for Migraine procedures they’d done.

Sometimes, because of these policies, patients are put on meds that are not approved by the FDA for the treatment of migraines, like the antidepressant amitriptyline and the high blood pressure drug verapamil. “In my experience, [verapamil is] not very effective,” says Elizabeth Loder, chief of the headache division at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and the former president of the American Headache Society. For the insurance companies, that doesn’t seem to matter. “It’s frustrating to patients, especially when it seems like some of the treatments that they’re required to try have a lot of side effects and haven’t really been tested that carefully for migraines.”
Treatment with BOTOX® and other botulinum toxin products can result in swallowing or breathing difficulties. Patients with pre-existing swallowing or breathing difficulties may be more susceptible to these complications. In most cases, this is a consequence of weakening of muscles in the area of injection that are involved in breathing or oropharyngeal muscles that control swallowing or breathing (see Boxed Warning).
Many people who experience excessive sweating, whether on their hands, hairline, or even under their breasts or butt, are turning to Botox and other neuromodulators (like Xeomin or Dysport). "They help prevent excessive sweating by acting on the sweat glands directly," says NYC board-certified plastic surgeon Z. Paul Lorenc, MD. "The neuromodulator is injected into the sweat glands to relax the muscle and help combat excessive sweating."
On Wednesday, Saunders said at a conference that Allergan is planning to sell its women's health and infectious disease businesses, putting more attention on Allergan's four "core" businesses, which are eye care, aesthetics, diseases of the central nervous system, and gastrointestinal conditions. Allergan's stock fell on the news, suggesting investors haven't been appeased yet.
Spread of toxin effects. The effect of botulinum toxin may affect areas away from the injection site and cause serious symptoms including: loss of strength and all-over muscle weakness, double vision, blurred vision and drooping eyelids, hoarseness or change or loss of voice, trouble saying words clearly, loss of bladder control, trouble breathing, trouble swallowing.
This is where Botox comes into play. When you get consistent Botox injections, you prevent potential wrinkle formations from getting deeper or worse. Botox limits the range of facial muscle movement (when done skillfully, your face will not get that frozen look) so that wrinkles don't worsen over time. If you have a bad habit of frowning or lifting your brows for no reason, consistent Botox injections can also help your face kick these bad habits and therefore prevent any potential lines from getting etched in your skin. Getting frequent Botox injections may also help relax your facial muscles so that you don't need as a high a dose or as frequent as an injection to maintain your results.
One of the most beneficial uses of BOTOX\for migraines is that it can serve as an indicator of how effective migraine surgery might be for you. BOTOX stops contracting muscles from irritating triggering nerves. If that gives you relief, you may benefit from surgery to “free up” pressure on those nerves. Using BOTOX may also help identify which nerves could be triggering your migraines, making surgical intervention more targeted.
There have been spontaneous reports of death, sometimes associated with dysphagia, pneumonia, and/or other significant debility or anaphylaxis, after treatment with botulinum toxin. There have also been reports of adverse events involving the cardiovascular system, including arrhythmia and myocardial infarction, some with fatal outcomes. Some of these patients had risk factors including cardiovascular disease. The exact relationship of these events to the botulinum toxin injection has not been established.

I usually keep my patients on migraine preventative medications until we have seen sufficient relief of migraine to warrant a taper to a lower dose or even an attempt at medication discontinuation. Patients are free to use their typical migraine abortive medications for breakthrough migraines. There are some patients that find that they still require their other anti-migraine medications for full migraine control.


Hoffman’s husband’s experience is not unusual. Once a patient gets the more expensive prescription, health insurance providers can still try and push them back to cheaper drugs. Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s Loder says that most health insurance companies stop paying for Botox if it’s not reducing a patient’s migraines by at least 50 percent. “It’s important to keep careful headache diaries and keep careful notes in order to be able to prove to the insurance company that the treatment is worth it,” Loder says. “You’re not home free once they approve it.”
In May, hedge fund Appaloosa Management, run by David Tepper, received antitrust clearance from the Federal Trade Commission to potentially increase its stake in the Botox-maker. This means that Appaloosa now has more flexibility to push for further changes at Allergan. It remains to be seen if that happens, but if so, it could mean more changes are ahead for the drugmaker.
BOTOX is administered about every three months, and must be injected at the site of each nerve trigger, relaxing the surrounding muscles so that they won’t compress the nerve and trigger a migraine. It is a potent drug, and we only recommend using it if other preventative treatment options haven’t helped you. It is generally only administered to patients who have at least 14 headaches a month, or don’t respond to other treatments.
"The cost for a procedure depends on two main factors," explains Joshua Zeichner, MD, a board-certified dermatologist. "First, different products cost different amounts because of the technology that goes into their manufacturing. In addition, the cost depends on the fee of the injector. If you are seeing a sought-after, skilled injector, you may be paying a premium for that treatment. Especially when getting injectable fillers, your treatment is dependent on the skill and aesthetic of your injector. I do not recommend compromising here or purchasing a deal on websites like Groupon."
Above all, I try to be gentle with myself and my children. It’s easier said than done.  Mom guilt and migraine guilt weigh heavy on my heart, and I continue to remind myself that I’m doing my best. I give myself a break as I do with my children when they’re having a bad day. I’m patient with them and try to give myself the same respect.  As a mom, it seems like my job is never done and that I can always do better. The reality is, no one is perfect, and we all have our flaws. We don’t expect our children to be perfect, and we should not expect ourselves to be. We do what we can when we can and take each day as it comes. I find joy in the smallest things and find that being grateful and mindful remind me off all the blessings I have, despite my unpredictable and chronic migraine attacks.
Getting Botox takes only a few minutes and no anesthesia is required. Botox is injected with a fine needle into specific muscles with only minor discomfort. It generally takes three to seven days to take full effect and it is best to avoid alcohol at least one week prior to treatment. Aspirin and anti-inflammatory medications should be stopped two weeks before treatment as well in order to reduce bruising.
As with the injection of any medication, your body's immune system can develop antibodies to the medication, which render the drug less effective or possibly cause development of an allergy to the drug. The more frequently the drug is injected or the more quantity that is injected, the higher the risk for these antibodies to be formed against the drug.
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There have been reports following administration of BOTOX® of adverse events involving the cardiovascular system, including arrhythmia and myocardial infarction, some with fatal outcomes. Some of these patients had risk factors including pre-existing cardiovascular disease. Use caution when administering to patients with pre-existing cardiovascular disease.
William J. Binder reported in 2000 that patients who had cosmetic injections around the face reported relief from chronic headache.[57] This was initially thought to be an indirect effect of reduced muscle tension, but it is now known that the toxin inhibits release of peripheral nociceptive neurotransmitters, suppressing the central pain processing systems responsible for migraine headache.[58][59]
Program Terms, Conditions, and Eligibility Criteria: 1. This offer is good for use only with a valid prescription for BOTOX® (onabotulinumtoxinA). 2. Based on insurance coverage, Chronic Migraine patients can receive up to $700 off per treatment for up to 5 treatments in 2018. All treatments must be received during 2018. Maximum savings limit of $3500 per year for people with Chronic Migraine applies; patient out-of-pocket expense may vary. 3. This offer is not valid for use by patients enrolled in Medicare, Medicaid, or other federal or state programs (including any state pharmaceutical assistance programs), or private indemnity or HMO insurance plans that reimburse you for the entire cost of your prescription drugs. Patients may not use this offer if they are Medicare-eligible and enrolled in an employer-sponsored health plan or prescription drug benefit program for retirees. This offer is not valid for cash-paying patients. 4. This offer is valid for up to 5 treatments per year. Offer applies only to treatment received before the program expires on 12/31/18. 5. Offer is valid only for BOTOX® and BOTOX® treatment-related costs not covered by insurance. 6. A BOTOX® Savings Program check will be provided upon approval of a claim. The claim must be submitted with treatment details from an Explanation of Benefits (EOB) or a Specialty Pharmacy Provider (SPP) receipt. (If the BOTOX® prescription was filled by a Specialty Pharmacy Provider, both EOB and SPP details must be provided.) All claims must be submitted within 90 days of the date of EOB receipt. You may be required to provide a copy of your EOB or SPP receipt for your claim to be approved. 7. A BOTOX® Savings Program check may be sent either directly to you or to your selected healthcare provider who provided treatment. For payment to be made directly to your healthcare provider, you must authorize an assignment of benefit during each claim submission. You are not obligated to assign your BOTOX® Savings Program benefit to your healthcare provider to participate in the program. 8. Allergan reserves the right to rescind, revoke, or amend this offer without notice. 9. Offer good only in the USA, including Puerto Rico, at participating retail locations. 10. Void where prohibited by law, taxed, or restricted. 11. This offer is not health insurance.12. By participating in the BOTOX® Savings Program, you acknowledge that you are an eligible patient and that you understand and agree to comply with the terms and conditions of this offer.
The most frequently reported adverse reactions following injection of BOTOX for adult lower limb spasticity appear in Table 17. Two hundred thirty one patients enrolled in a double-blind placebo controlled study (Study 6) received 300 Units to 400 Units of BOTOX, and were compared with 233 patients who received placebo. Patients were followed for an average of 91 days after injection.

Baby Botox can be used pretty much anywhere on your face, but it's best to create subtle changes or to erase fine lines. "Something like this is especially nice for an area like the crow's feet, which is a very delicate area where a subtle treatment is more effective," explains Smith. "If someone has very deep folds, micro Botox probably isn't going to cut it. I would offer this to someone with moderate to fine lines."

It is not known whether BOTOX® is safe or effective to treat increased stiffness in upper limb muscles other than those in the elbow, wrist, fingers, and thumb, or in lower limb muscles other than those in the ankle and toes. BOTOX® has not been shown to help people perform task-specific functions with their upper limbs or increase movement in joints that are permanently fixed in position by stiff muscles. Treatment with BOTOX® is not meant to replace existing physical therapy or other rehabilitation that may have been prescribed.

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